Abstract We designed and fabricated three different types of triode field emitters with planar carbon-nanoparticle (CNP) cathodes such as a normal-gate structure, a double-gate structure, and a well-structure. A normal-gate structure CNP triode emitter showed good field emission properties. The field emission started at the gate-voltage of 45 V, and the anode current reached the level of ∼120 nA at the gate-voltage of 60 V. However, in general, normal-gate structure suffered from large gate current. Using the double-gate structure, we successfully reduced the gate current to the level less than 4% of anode currents up to the anode current of ∼250 nA. To simplify fabrication process while maintaining the gate current reduction effect of the double-gate structure, a triode emitter with a well-structure cathode was fabricated via reactive-ion etching of a heavily doped n-type silicon wafer. The triode emitter with a well-structure cathode and a recessed gate structure showed negligible gate current.